Catherine Prescott
A portrait of a white, brunette woman standing in an unfinished garage, arms folded in front of her and frowning.

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Legacy: Portrait of Val
Collection of the artist

The driving force behind my portraits is the conviction that a person’s interiority can be articulated visually. The painting begins with my connection to an emotion in the subject. Everything in the painting must support that feeling. I am not trying to illustrate an anecdote or make a statement. This portrait is about my friend Valerie and her father, who left her a legacy of artistic gifts and impulses. She grew up in a house that was his grand project but that he never finished. A table saw had always been in place of a dining table; some rooms remained mere frames. When he died, the house became an albatross around Val’s neck. I pictured her in her father’s basement shop, a place that both inspires and confounds her.